This week marks the end of the school year and, for many, the start of summer. Congratulations to all graduates who are now entering the adult world of jobs and/or college. It is a time for graduates to reflect on the future and the past.

But this weekend is not only the unofficial “beginning of summer,” it is also Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day should be a solemn day to honor and commemorate our war dead. Originally it was called Decoration Day and ladies (mostly) went to the military cemeteries and laid (or scattered) flowers on the graves of Civil War veterans after listening to speeches. Speeches continue today, as does the laying of flowers at the graves of military veterans at cemeteries across the nation.

This weekend is a good time for everyone, not just recent graduates, to reflect on the freedoms we all enjoy and upon the brave soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and Coast Guard members who died so we can have those freedoms.

A Memorial Day ceremony will be 9 a.m. Monday, May 27, at the town's Veterans Memorial in Fountain Park. Traditionally, local veterans service organizations (American Legion Post 58, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7507, Marine Corps League Detachment 1439 and American Veterans Post 7) all participate.

This year, VFW Post 7507 has teamed up with ACE Hardware to give away American flags as part of the “One Million Flag Giveaway.” VFW members will also be giving away free Buddy Poppies. All donations go to assist veterans in need.

Fountain Hills has always shown appreciation and support for veterans and active duty military, from buying and wearing Red Shirts and donating to VSOs for poppies, to contributing to worthy causes and attendance at events. See you at the Memorial Monday morning.